China has drastically reduced the number of elected seats in the Hong Kong legislature.
The Standing Committee of the Chinese People’s National Assembly passed the amendment which expands to 90 seats in the Hong Kong legislature, but only 20 will be directly elected.
Currently, 35 of the 70 seats are directly elected, 40 are chosen by an electoral committee that currently selects the Hong Kong leader and the remaining 30 are chosen by groups representing various professions and interests.
The two annexes involve the method for the selection of the HKSAR Chief Executive and the method for the formation of the HKSAR Legislative Council and its voting procedures, respectively.
The amendments were passed at the closing meeting of the 27th session of the Standing Committee of the 13th National People’s Congress (NPC).
According to the democratic opposition, the changes were made to keep them out of office. In 2019, protesters long protested on the streets of Hong Kong to demand democratic political reforms.
China responded with the imposition of the Hong Kong National Security Law which led to the arrest of dozens of activists. Last year, the local government decided to postpone legislative elections by one year due to the pandemic, elections that Democratic activists hoped to win for the first time.